Eastern Leatherwood – Dirca Palustris: Medicinal & Alternative Uses of Rope Wood

In Chippewa, djibe’gub, meaning ghost or spirit, moosewood AKA Eastern leatherwood (Dirca palustris) has been bumped as a feature here before for more edible and medicinal plants. However, I love this shrub so much and want to talk about it! Have you noticed a mostly inconspicuous shrub in the understory of woods around Haliburton that …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 4: Blue Flag Iris

Dear Wood Folk, We’ve covered a tinier iris before: blue-eyed grass. It’s a miniature lookalike you might find in your lawn around cottage country Ontario. Our title iris on the other hand can grow close to a few feet tall. Common along wetlands here, Northern blue flag (Iris versicolor) is our native blue flag iris. …

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Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne Calyculata: Edible & Alt Uses of the Sun Tea of Wild Plants

Leatherleaf – Chamaedaphne calyculata

Leatherleaf (chamaedaphne calyculata) is common around Haliburton, Ontario, in bogs and on the edges of wetlands. This shrubby evergreen plant is often walked past, but if you notice it and get close you may see its white bell shaped flowers covered in ants. If you see leatherleaf, you’re in a wetland! The flowers may remind …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 3: Buttercup

Dear Wood Folk, Buttercups are one of the first flowering plants I noticed when I moved to Haliburton County, Ontario. They have a reflective shininess to them that makes them pop. Buttercups are common in my yard, and common along the nearest trail. These mostly perennial plants show up in varied terrain. Some species are …

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Largeflower Bellwort – Uvularia Grandiflora: Not-so Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Fairy Bells of Wild Plants

Largeflower bellwort – Uvularia grandiflora

Largeflower bellwort (uvularia grandiflora) has limited human uses, perhaps the most so of any plant I’ve covered so far. But this is a wonderful plant for spring pollinators, I had to bump it up the list. Large-flowered or largeflower bellwort (uvularia grandiflora) is common in deciduous woods on rich leafy hummus. I see it along …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn

The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 4 (Poisonous Plants), Chapter 2: Dutchman's Breeches and Squirrel Corn

Dear Wood Folk, You’ve likely heard of or seen the plant bleeding heart. I have some planted over the graves of my beloved pets. Dutchman’s breeches (dicentra cucullaria) and squirrel corn (dicentra canadensis) are the native relations to bleeding heart in Ontario. Dutchman’s breeches have yellow “waistbands” on their upside-down knicker shaped flowers, while squirrel …

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